Team:Nanjing NFLS/Education

Science Communication

Mobile Game Design

IGEMers from team KEYSTONE initiated the development of a level-breaking synthetic biology educational game,“The Adventure of Bob Lelogy”. 8 teams (view in collaboration), including us, cooperated to design the game mainly towards pupils and junior highs. The game consists of eight main scenes and each is based on common synthetic biology knowledge---Central Dogma, Genetic Circuit, PCR, CRISPR, Biobrick, Gibson, Golden Gate, and Directed Evolution. Each team was responsible for the layout of one topic and after all combined comes a game with different styles in each scene. The main character is an elementary school student, Bob, in a biology lesson, but he gets so bored and falls asleep. Here begins the adventure dream, as Bob turns minuscule and travels all the way into human body. (view more in KEYSTONE )

We designed the script and character images of PCR. The plot goes in a lab, and through interactions between the two characters, we developed the definitions, principles (how it worked), and implications of PCR. We aimed to render the future players an easy access to learn the technology with the help of readily comprehensible guidance, presented knowledge and multiple choices in the dialogue and the vivid illustrations. They were simple enough for players to figure out but still required certain level of logical reasoning, which we believe was fairly appropriate to match the game.

We may not finish the massive project this year, we eight teams will be the founders of the design and the rest of the work will likely be continued next year by more future ambitious iGEMers until it is ultimately finished and revised, finally as a well developed mobile application so as to popularize the concept of synthetic biology.

Primary School

In Chinese primary schools, students can learn biology in science class. However, science is not treated as the main subject until senior high school. Due to outdated textbook content, students failed to update knowledge of biology. Therefore, we decided to initiate lectures in Nanjing Lixue Primary School to change status quo and enlighten the students to cultivate interest in Biology.


With the start of ‘Why we all look different?’, we first came to the topic that biological traits are determined by genetic materials. By introducing previous iGEM projects to the students, we transited to how human can create new genes through artificial components, which led to the concept and purpose of synthetic biology.
Then we showed the kids how humans could make use of synthetic biology to program pattern formations, how art could have inspired wisdom and how bio-art designs from even details in their lives can be so intelligently created through the use of synthetic biology.

At last, kid active drew out their blueprints of imaginative biological systems, hoping us to fulfill some ideas in future iGEM teams. They also gave us some feedback:
“I learned what is gene, and see the combination of synbio and art, like designed pumpkins and fluorescent lamps.” — fourth grader, Hang Ruixi “Hope teach us more about DNA and other knowledge about biology.” — fourth grader,Nick Chen

Junior High School

We reach out to junior high school students in High School affiliated to Nanjing Nanjing Normal Univ via additional elective course. We organized presentations concerning basic knowledge in Genetics and Syn-bio, also aiming to enlarge the iGEM community. We currently hosted 2 workshops in the school above.


We brought brief introduction of genetics to Grade 7 students. We talked about “from genes to proteins”, “standardized parts in engineering”, “iGEM competition” and “bio technology”, like CRISPR, and it works. (based on the knowledge they have learnt and also as an extension from their textbook)


We began by talking about the development of technology have come various ethical concerns and social backlash. To further inspire students to consider the societal side of future bio-tech and to widen the impact, we organized a 2-round debate tournament centered on bio-safety, topics including “GMO”, “super species”, and “social fairness”.

Future Courses

We regard face to face lectures as the best to realize our educational purpose. We pick the knowledge that is necessary to an iGEMer, transcribe and translate it into digestible contents and convey them by using power points. We also learn a lot from the open dialogue between them and us, and we hope keep progressing in our teaching methods in future.

(COVID-19 hindered our access to schools, and we could only start to give presentations from September. We uploaded our materials online as a science communication, and the rest of the classes will be continued after the competition. links below: )

Online science communication meeting with BJ101HS team iGEM club
We share the same science communication idea with high school team, BJ101HS from Beijing. Thus, we contacted them and they hold a virtual meetup activity: introducing our own project to each other, and more important: discussing about the club activities. There are around twenty students in our virtual meetup, some of them are current or previous iGEMers and new-comers in iGEM club. We introduced our project “MFCs Improved in Different Aspects Safely” and shared our interesting experience during iGEM to club members. Therefore, our science communication is not sustained in Nanjing, but also initiate in other cities.